Written by Roger Jackson,
September 20th, 2017 | Views

What does your retailer want from your shopper research?

We know that it may be a little awkward for us to talk about the elephant in the room, but although a manufacturer is often funding the shopper research, we all know that unless it “delivers” for your retailer, it’s not going to get very far.

So, it must be worth taking some time to consider what a buyer really wants from your data? And what he or she doesn’t want. From our experience, we’ve collated a few things that we know buyers want, and don’t want, from your shopper research.

What they want:

  1. Objectivity – This work needs to deliver the truth, even if it’s messy. They aren’t interested in partial truth or a selective story – otherwise, there won’t be the promised outcomes in the real world. Sure, you might get a quick win but you want to be successful long-term, right?
  2. Focus on category, not brand – They are tasked with growing category profitability (essentially market share * margin). If you don’t talk about these outcomes you’ll lose traction or worse, come across as naïve.
  3. Competitor Insight – Often the buyer has a mass of data about their own business, but next to nothing about the competitors – that’s their blind spot.
  4. Facts – the buyer will usually have to sell onwards and upwards in the business. To do that they need simple, clear and compelling “killer facts” to turn the story into an elevator pitch. They can then deliver this to people with even less time to ponder the matter.
  5. Size of the prize – It’s important to highlight the benefit of the change? OK, we all know nothing is certain but if things work out, what’s the potential increase in profit? That provides the motivation to act (they already have enough on their to-do lists, thanks)!

What they don’t want:

  1. To hear all about your brand. If you are a credible supplier, its assumed you will do your job competently. You think you are telling them all sorts of fascinating stuff, but they hear this same kind of thing from all supplier’s day in day out.
  2. Teach me to suck eggs – most retailers have far more knowledge about their category and shoppers in their own business than you do. They may not have mined it fully but beware talking motherhood stuff.
  3. To be told the same things their competitors are told. They want to feel they are getting an advantage over their competitors. Try to give them first mover advantage on a new piece of news.
  4. You have to do the thinking to get all the information down to the simple story. Don’t hand that task over to them!